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Drifter Pale Ale - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Drifter Pale AleDrifter Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

929 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 929
Reviews: 406
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.6%
Wants: 22
Gots: 26 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
availability: year-round
bitterness: 32 IBU
alcohol by volume: 5.7%
original gravity: 14.0° PLATO

malts:
Pale, Caramel 20L, Caravienne 20L, Caramel 80L, Carapils

hops:
Bittering: Alchemy
Aroma: Summit, Nelson Sauvin
Dry Hopped: Summit, Nelson Sauvin

(Beer added by: madtappers on 12-23-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 929 | Reviews: 406 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SirChugsAlot
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice pale ale brought to us by the widmer brothers.

A. Pours a nice burnt copper color with a finger and 1/2 white head that hangs around for a bit

S. Sweet malts and hoppy. with hints of citrus

T. Hoppy and sweet nicely done with Malty finish that makes you want more Also, a hint of nuttiness?

M. Medium body with lower-medium carbonation. goes down smooth and crisp

D. I wish i had a keg of this on tap. well balanced with the hops and malt

SirChugsAlot, Mar 09, 2009
Photo of Dubbercody
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really tasty beer. Nicely hoppy for an APA...has a moderately astringent quality that wipes off your tongue leaving you wanting another drink. Brings a citrus vibe in both the smell and the flavor. This beer can double as both a cold day and a hot day quencher, I think the balance and dance between the hops and malt help make this dualistic appreciation possible.

Probably my new favorite Widmer in a bottle. Thanks Widmer.

Dubbercody, Mar 09, 2009
Photo of mtrentm
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Nice amber/bronze color with a 3/4" off-white head that sticks around.

S: Hops...A sweet hop aroma, pine & citrus dominate & i get a faint hint of honey/honeysuckle.

T: The hops lead in with their citrus flavor. Followed with a little spice, but not too bitter. Finishes with that slight honeysuckle flavor. A great example of a west coast pale.

M: Medium-bodied, silky smooth, just the right amount of carbonation.

D: Very drinkable. This will be another go-to APA for me right next to Sierra Nevada

mtrentm, Mar 08, 2009
Photo of jonbad19
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pleasantly surprised to find this kind of output from widmer. I poured it from the bottle into my chalice. The head didn't stick around for that long, the beer had a nice clear, slightly ruby hue. The smells were the highlight of the beer for me, without looking i would guess it was some combo of west coast hops. Very nice. The taste was nice because the hops came through initially but it was a surprisingly balanced pale. The nose prepared me for a near ipa style, but it was nice to have the balance between the hops and the malt. The mouthfeel definitely fit the style, and i felt like i could definitly drink a few more of these upon finishing. Spot on widmer...spot on.

jonbad19, Mar 08, 2009
Photo of rowew
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, standard Widmer embossed bottle. Bottled on date and ABV are clearly marked.

Appearance: A bit more red than I expected from a pale, average head, decent retention.

Smell: Very floral aroma, lots of hops - almost a bubble gum aroma.

Taste: Lots of hops, the same bubble gum flavors and some citrus flowery hops - but almost no bitterness.

Overall impression: Interesting beer - tons of hop flavor and aroma with no bitterness - pretty drinkable. This is a nice gateway hop offering.

rowew, Mar 08, 2009
Photo of climax
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

poured a copper color with excellent clarity, a finger of even head never quite disappeared and left some sticky lace

real refreshing nose on this one. strong sharp citrus and pine, a bit floral as well. sweet malt occupies the background. IPAish

taste is an extension of the nose...which is a good thing. spicey pine and citrus. a nice malty finish

mouthfeel is a crisp and clean, quite a bit of carbonation, somewhat dry and sticky aftertaste. a bit more body would have made it excellent for it was a bit light

a very drinkable beer. i think this is by far the best selection from widmer brothers.

climax, Mar 07, 2009
Photo of MEsquandoles
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$7.99 6 pack from the grocery store. Bottle Jan28 (5 and a half weeks ago). Apparently this was the Spring Seasonal a few years ago.

See-through dark copper. Great head retention.

Strong hop aroma of citrus and pine.

Tastes like peach cobbler with some mandarin oranges and a little lemon. Unique hop presence and flavours. Very citrusy. Must be those Summit hops. Caramel too.

Must be pretty dry-hopped because there's a strong aroma but not much bitterness.

Thick and silky. Oily.

Unique and worth trying.

MEsquandoles, Mar 07, 2009
Photo of Docer
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12-pack from Fred Meyer.. poured into a tumbler glass.

-Nice amber color.. dark copper.. minimal to no head with slight lacing.

-Great smell.. a very citrusy and piney hop.. with a sweet caramel sent of rich malt.

-Tastes much the same as it smells.. not very bitter, but still is to a slight extent.. with some pine and citrus. Took that dry-hopping to get it i'm sure. Nice malt character and well balanced. I suppose it's the 'well balanced' that doesn't make this an IPA?

-Malty aftertaste and doesn't leave too dry. A bit on the weak side.. so a bit watery.. but it's a pale so... very drinkable and quite good. Would love to see a summit hopped Imperial IPA. Reminds me of the 3-time dry-hopped Workhorse IPA from Laurelwood... but much more mild and store-shelf ready.

Docer, Mar 05, 2009
Photo of KeefD
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice amber color with a one finger head and some light lacing. Aroma has a nice citrus character, mostly orange, some light pine and a certain malty sweetness. Taste is very similar to the nose. Plenty of orange juiciness, bitter grapefruit, and a solid malt backbone. Medium bodied, light carbonation. This is a pretty good pale ale, though it's not an everyday drinker like SN. Very drinkable and enjoyable, though.

KeefD, Mar 05, 2009
Photo of TexIndy
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got from lonestarbev - many thanks! Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Front label had the bottled on date (Dec 16 08). Cool bottle. It was a hazy orange amber color with tons of carb and good lacing. It had an average off white head that settled into wisps and a collar.

The aroma was good and was citric and pine from the Summit hops. The taste was pretty solid. Starts off strong and then finishes with a good hop bite. Doesn't tear up the tongue so could have a couple per sitting. Good carb in the mouthfeel as well.

Overall, a pretty good beer. Probably the best Widmer that I've had yet. Nice change up in the APA space for me. Not sure I'd buy many six packs but could see grabbing a few singles or having on tap or taking one if offered out of someone else's stash. Recommend.

TexIndy, Mar 05, 2009
Photo of geomedic
4.93/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: Draft in a chilled "pounder" pint glass.

A: Clear amber. Poured with a half-inch head that dissipates quickly but leaves lacing all the way down the glass.

S: Sharp odor of piney, flowery hops. Very fresh. Sweet, malty undertones... way-undertones.

T: Primary flavor is fresh, piney hops, very floral. Sweet maltiness nicely counterpoints this flavor without diminishing it. This beer is for hops lovers. The local availability of fresh hops would account for the very bright floral character of this beer.

M: Light mouthfeel, medium carbonation.

D: As a hoppy pale ale lover (note beer-style bias disclaimer) I consider this a session beer. Those that do not share a similar taste for lots-o-hops may strongly disagree. I would expect this beer to compliment many foods with shellfish topping my list.

O: Excellent Pale Ale. The fresh, bright quality of the predominant hops flavor makes me envision the Widmer brothers harvesting the Oregon Cascade hops right outside the brewhouse.

geomedic, Mar 01, 2009
Photo of mothman
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass.

Pours about a 2 finger, slightly tanned head, decent retention with great lacing. Color is an amber copper. Pretty decent appearance.

Smell is similar to an IPA. Heavy floral and citrus smells. Taste is some-what hopped up as well. Not as much as the aroma. The taste is more of the pale ale category. Honey and citrus zest.

Mouthfeel is somewhat bitter, but smooth. Goes down pretty easy, but leaves a sticky aftertaste. Low carbonation.

Overall, I really enjoyed this pale ale. It smelt a lot like an IPA which was pleasant. I could definitely have another.

mothman, Feb 22, 2009
Photo of RJLarse
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought a six-pack of the new Drifter Pale Ale from Widmer Brothers in a grocery store. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a deep copper color and is clear. A tight creamy off-white head forms, and is fairly resilient. Curtains of lace are left on the glass.

The smell is strong, sweet and fruity. There is an evergreen (pine or juniper) scent and some citurs aromas.

The taste is very good. Citrus (grapefruit) flavors, with a little sweet malt along side. There is a mildly bitter hop finish. A complex and interesting taste.

Mouthfeel is crisp and clean.

This is a very drinkable beer. A nice multi-dimensional pale ale.

RJLarse, Feb 22, 2009
Photo of Spikester
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Full amber with a modest white head from a gentle pour. Fair amount of lacings. Aroma of citrus hops. Taste is citrus orange pinapple with a sweet caramel malt. It does have a moderate amount of hops bitterness and an IBU of 32. A very drinkable, slightly sweet Pale Ale.

Spikester, Feb 20, 2009
Photo of champ103
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a murky reddish/brown color. A very small white cap forms and leaves light patchy lace.
S: Citrus and piney hops. Fruity aromas of orange and lemon peal. A malty sweetness balances out the nose. Very enjoyable.
T: Follows the nose. At first a fruity and citrus hop bitterness. Sweet caramel malt for balance. A lingering hoppy bitterness in the finish.
M/D: A medium body, but thin and watery. Over carbonated for my tastes. Smooth and easy to drink. I quaffed a few of these at the bar.

Enjoyable and balanced is the name of the game. I would recommend this.

champ103, Feb 18, 2009
Photo of PintOHops
3.38/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance/Smell - Appears amber with an orange hue, and a thin head that's basically just a ring. Quickly reduces to a broken ring as well, has lite-medium carbonation and leaves some spotty lacing. Smells of pungent to mild pine and citrus notes, but more on the mild side. Wonderfully fruity pineapple and raisin aromas. Lots of hops, and some nice orange zest. A little dry as well.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Tastes of zesty citrus like hop bitterness, finishes with a wonderful pineapple fruitiness. Malts on the finish as well, and the hop bitterness lingers on the palate just a tad. Some orange peel, again pretty balanced. Mouthfeel is smooth but a little thin, with some lively carbonation on the palate. Has a lite-medium body.

Drinkability/Final thoughts - Not my favorite APA but affordable & extremely drinkable. I could enjoy about 2-3 of these on just about any day. I liked the zesty fruity flavors of this beer. Pretty sessionable, not bad. Worth a try.

PintOHops, Feb 18, 2009
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.53/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz picked up today at the Coop... poured into my Chimay goblet...

3/4" head with nice lace and a firm cap atop a clear orange amber brew....

The nose is resounding citric... tangerine even..

Flavor is the same... zesty orange.. some doughy maltiness adds a little bit of sweetness.. with a light smack of caramel.. really balanced yet you still know this is a fresh PNW pale ale... medium body with a lively carbonation... even the burps taste like tangerine juice essence..

This is actually pretty damn good pale ale... I could see drinking this one for a while in the long run, and it makes me wish I would have picked up a 6'er today to have a fridge beer...

JohnGalt1, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of Zorro
4.18/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber colored ale with a small tan colored head. This is a shade of amber I could call Bronze.

Smell is strongly of northwest style hops, very much a pine and grapefruit scent. Very strong hop resins, the malt is just a honeysuckle trace this is very much a hop beer.

The taste starts out neutral in sweetness and very hoppy, grapefruit in the first taste. Tropical fruit flavors and pine, just like the scent this is a hop beer. Little bit of lemon shows up after a while, wonder how many IBUs this is.

Mouthfeel is good.

Quite a bit better than expected. Website says 32 IBUs seems stronger than that.

Zorro, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of KarlHungus
4.38/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a clear bright ruby color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes into a small cap of lacing. The aroma is of floral hops, tea, hints of citrus. It is very nuanced. The taste leans towards the hops, but it is quite balanced. Tea, flowers, cirtus, and nice caramel notes throughout. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lively carbonation, and a smooth texture. Overall, this is a very good APA. I was really not expecting something this good from Widmer Brothers so kudos to them. I will certainly drink this again.

KarlHungus, Feb 13, 2009
Photo of djeucalyptus
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a surprisingly rich bold amber hue with hints of gold and ruby. A strong one-finger head of an eggshell color erupts seemingly from nowhere and has impressive retention, deflating to a foamy cap leaving impressive spongy lacing down the glass.

strong citrus hop aroma with green, floral and herbal notes. almost reminds me of simcoe hops... I suppose it's the summit hops? vanilla, cakey malt... rich and slightly sweet. Smells intoxicating.

Taste is delciously hoppy with that same cakey malt... almost banana bread and vanilla muffin malt backbone, with some amazing grapefruit and herbal hop notes. a light but delicious clean bitterness. Deliciously bright juicy citrus hop profile without being overly hoppy - the pale and caramel malts balance almost perfectly, yielding something not all that far from perfect, and more citrusy and vibrant than your average APA.

mouthfeel is smooth, a touch thick for the style, fairly creamy with ample carbonation. Truly enjoyable to drink, it goes down smoothly and has just enough crispness and light drying to keep things feeling light and uplifting.

I'm sold. this may be my apa/ipa six-pack choice for a while. Enjoyable on all levels, with enough character and pop to make each sip enjoyable. definitely one of my favorite recent bottled offerings from Widmer (by a long shot, actually). Definitely worth a try if you have any appreciation for balanced hopping what-so-ever.

djeucalyptus, Feb 13, 2009
Photo of wagenvolks
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a Dogfish Head Off-centered Pint Glass. (best by Jan. 27th 09)

Pours a burnt copper hue with good clarity and a sizable tuft of off-white head. Good retention and excellent lacing...liking the looks of this one. The smell is even better. Dare I say it? Fuck yea'. This is the best-smelling American Pale Ale I've encountered. Pungent, skunky-green & citrus hops (Simcoe & Centennial?) burst forth from the pint, balanced perfectly by a juicy, sweet caramel malt presence and tropical fruits. Mouth-watering, to say the least.

On to the taste...unfortunately it's a slight letdown. The hops start off with a spicy-fresh burst of greenery, but the malts pursue with somewhat of an off-putting flavor of burnt caramel and nuts. A slightly sour finish lingers too long. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium (a bit thick for the style), but with a good carbonation level. I do like the bitterness on the beginning, but unfortunately this beer doesn't hold up in the long run. Still, it's a decent brew that deserves at least one try from the hop-lovers out there.

wagenvolks, Feb 12, 2009
Photo of farrago
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thin white head but with good retention and lots of big, popping bubbles, not much lacing. Red copper color just deep enough to hold your gaze and get past transparency, nice fade to burnt orange hues along the rims. Admirable mix of pink and white grapefruit in the nose, floral with chamomile tea notes, spoonful of pine sap, no herbaceous nor ultra-sweet elements, stays within itself and on message, you could sniff it for some time. Medium-bodied, however, most of it is palate pressure and a sense of marching forward rather than flavor. The grapefruit and tangerine citrus starts things off well, after that there's momentary pine, green hay, wet stone aspects. But after that it's evanescence leads to homogeneity. Credibly, the carbonation ratchets it down to fit the body profile. It's drinkable enough for a bottle or two before your mind starts to wander. If the palate could match the nose, that would be something.

farrago, Feb 10, 2009
Photo of Reidrover
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

New one from Widmer here in Salem.
In appearance, amber,clear with a nice sized frothy eggshell white head.
very strong hop aromas, citric mainlly but a touch of pine.
Again the hops dominate the flavour, making it seem somehow like a lemon flavoured ale!!! Odd. Some small malt in the undertow but not much.
I found that the palte let it down, slightly too thin.
Its drinkable OK..like an IPA lite. . Good stuff

Reidrover, Feb 08, 2009
Photo of fcarreras
4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Disclaimer - I was recovering from a cold when I tried this.

Had this beer on tap at Cadillac Ranch in Tempe, AZ. This was the closest place I could find that was already carrying it, but the place is not my favorite.

Hard to judge the color as the bar was dark and lit with red mood lighting. There was virtually no head, and very little carbonation detected.

The aroma was very distinctly grapefruit, as was much of the flavor. Again, I was still a bit congested drinking this.

The taste was refreshing and clean. Very little maltiness to balance out the citrus hoppiness. Aftertaste very reminiscent of grapefruit juice. Finish had a bit of a drying effect (think tart lemonade), so not really a thirst-quencher, but a solid refreshing beer none the less.

Overall, I enjoyed this beer very much (four times over). I look forward to trying it out of the bottle at home.

fcarreras, Feb 06, 2009
Photo of mjryan
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice clear copper colour with no head to speak of (none of the beers at the bar were pouring with much head, so Ill put that on them and not the brewer). Hoppy, tropical fruit aroma. Tangerines, nectarines and the like. Sweet caramel malt aroma in the finish. Flavour is great, lots of fruity hops and a nice caramel sweetness, not overly sweet as to be cloying though. Bitterness is very understated and smooth, its there but doesnt bite if you know what I mean. Pretty light bodied for a beer of 5.7 % ABV. Carbonation is medium. This one falls somewhere between an APA and an IPA. Its to strong and hoppy to be an APA but just not aggressive enough to be an IPA. I really like this beer and hope that Widmer sends some bottles my way.

mjryan, Jan 30, 2009
Drifter Pale Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 929 ratings.